A Second or Third DUI Conviction in Virginia Can Land You in Prison for Months
If you are convicted of multiple DUI offenses in Virginia—and it's not uncommon for repeat offenders to be arrested three, four, or even more times for DUI—then the state will “throw the book” at you and impose the maximum penalties allowed by law, which include thousands of dollars' worth of fines, a long stretch in jail, and the permanent revocation of your driver's license. That's why it's important to hire an experienced lawyer who can negotiate with the judge or district attorney to secure you the lightest possible penalty for your multiple infractions.
Many DUI Offenders Have Been Arrested Multiple Times
Alcoholism is considered by most experts to be a chronic disease, which is why it's often the case that first-time DUI offenders are re-arrested years, or even months, later for the same offense. Like most states, Virginia specifically addresses repeat DUI offenders in its legal statutes, as follows:
- A second DUI conviction mandates a fine of at least $500, a three-year revocation of your driver's license, and (if the violation happened within five years of your previous DUI conviction) at least 20 days in jail.
- A third DUI conviction will result in a fine of at least $1,000, permanent seizure of your vehicle, revocation of your driver's license, and at least six months in jail if the violation happened within five years of your last DUI conviction (and three months if it was within ten years).
The penalties listed above are the best possible outcomes for a multiple DUI conviction. Bear in mind that if any fatalities or injuries resulted from your DUI incident, or if you were driving on a suspended or revoked license or you were involved in a “hit-and-run” accident while intoxicated, the outcome will be much more severe, possibly including a 10- to 20-year stretch in state prison. A judge can also impose additional penalties if you were “super drunk,” with a blood-alcohol level at least twice the legal Virginia limit (0.08 percent).
If You Are Facing Your Second or Third DUI Conviction, You Need to Hire an Experienced Lawyer
When multiple DUI offenses are involved, even the best criminal lawyer will not be able to get his client off scot-free, assuming that the evidence points incontrovertibly to drunk driving. A good lawyer can, however, present any mitigating circumstances to the judge or district attorney and negotiate behind the scenes for the lightest (or at least fairest) possible penalty, especially if you have a family to support or other obligations. Call 888-783-9701 and talk with any of the experienced Virginia traffic defense lawyers at Jarrell Hicks & Waldman, PC today for a free consultation.